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Official Twitter app for latest iteration of Microsoft for mobile looks like an essential
The official Twitter app for Windows Phone 7 went live on Thursday, the same day that the new mobile operating system from Microsoft launched in Europe and Asia.
As with the official Twitter apps available on iPhone, Android, and other mobile devices, Twitter for Windows Phone 7 is free.
My initial impressions of the new Twitter app are positive as this is (dare I say?) the prettiest mobile Twitter client I’ve yet to see. Most functions, including the app’s first loading, don’t take much longer than a few moments in most cases.
The main screen (pictured) prominently features the user’s timeline, as expected, complete with user name, tweet, avatar, and timestamp. Buttons highlighted at the bottom of the screen let a user refresh the stream, compose a tweet, send a message, or perform a search.
Swiping sideways swaps the screen to pages designated Trends, Suggested, and Nearby.
All the above mentioned screens can also be used in landscape mode.
Other apps already available on Windows Phone 7 from day one include Facebook, Seesmic, and Shazam.
Windows Phone 7, which launches in the US on November 8, is the successor to Windows Mobile, Microsoft’s mobile platform first released in 2000. The need for a complete rethinking of the platform had been realized by many in the industry (including Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer), but the most obvious sign of the platform’s demise under iPhone and Android came almost exactly a year ago, when data revealed sales of the platform to have declined 20% in Q3 2009.
Based on the fact that big players like Twitter and Facebook have been so quick to release official apps for Windows Phone 7 (coupled with all those positive reviews), this could be the revival of Microsoft on the smartphone.
See the video embedded below for a promotional preview of the app.
(image source: https://www.engadget.com/2010/10/21/official-twitter-app-for-windows-phone-7-goes-live/)
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What is Twitter?
Twitter is an online information network that allows anyone with an account to post 140 character messages, called tweets. It is free to sign up. Users then follow other accounts which they are interested in, and view the tweets of everyone they follow in their "timeline." Most Twitter accounts are public, where one does not need to approve a request to follow, or need to follow back. This makes Twitter a powerful "one to many" broadcast platform where individuals, companies or organizations can reach millions of followers with a single message. Twitter is accessible from Twitter.com, our mobile website, SMS, our mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, our iPad application, or 3rd party clients built by outside developers using our API. Twitter accounts can also be private, where the owner must approve follower requests.
Where did the idea for Twitter come from?
Twitter started as an internal project within the podcasting company Odeo. Jack Dorsey, and engineer, had long been interested in status updates. Jack developed the idea, along with Biz Stone, and the first prototype was built in two weeks in March 2006 and launched publicly in August of 2006. The service grew popular very quickly and it soon made sense for Twitter to move outside of Odea. In May 2007, Twitter Inc was founded.
How is Twitter built?
Our engineering team works with a web application framework called Ruby on Rails. We all work on Apple computers except for testing purposes.
We built Twitter using Ruby on Rails because it allows us to work quickly and easily--our team likes to deploy features and changes multiple times per day. Rails provides skeleton code frameworks so we don't have to re-invent the wheel every time we want to add something simple like a sign in form or a picture upload feature.
How do you make money from Twitter?
There are a few ways that Twitter makes money. We have licensing deals in place with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's Bing to give them access to the "firehose" - a stream of tweets so that they can more easily incorporate those tweets into their search results.
In Summer 2010, we launched our Promoted Tweets product. Promoted Tweets are a special kind of tweet which appear at the top of search results within Twitter.com, if a company has bid on that keyword. Unlike search results in search engines, Promoted Tweets are normal tweets from a business, so they are as interactive as any other tweet - you can @reply, favorite or retweet a Promoted Tweet.
At the same time, we launched Promoted Trends, where companies can place a trend (clearly marked Promoted) within Twitter's Trending Topics. These are especially effective for upcoming launches, like a movie or album release.
Lastly, we started a Twitter account called @earlybird where we partner with other companies to provide users with a special, short-term deal. For example, we partnered with Virgin America for a special day of fares on Virginamerica.com that were only accessible through the link in the @earlybird tweet.
What's next for Twitter?
We continue to focus on building a product that provides value for users.
We're building Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.